PSEi bleeds to 6,900 as coronavirus continues to spread

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dipped to 6,909 on Wednesday, February 26, its lowest level in more than a year, as the novel coronavirus continued to spread fear among investors.

The PSEi lost 277 points or almost 4% and went as low as 6,879 within the trading day. This is its weakest since November 13, 2018, when it closed at 6,843.

This is also the biggest 1-day percentage drop since January 11, 2016, when it fell by 4.4%.

In an email to Rappler, the PSE said the index lost a staggering P401.5 billion in market value.

All sub-indices were in the red, with industrial and property leading the decline.

The most actively traded companies were Ayala Land (down 6.6%), BDO (down 4.4%), SM Prime (down 2%), SM Investments (down 2.5%), and Jollibee (down 5.7%).

Luis Limlingan of Regina Capital said Philippine shares stumbled as more companies abroad indicated earnings would be affected from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Limlingan said the next support level is at 6,800. If it breaks that level, the next support would be at 6,600.

A support is a price level where the decline in stock prices is expected to pause as investors start buying the losing shares. As prices drop, demand for the stock increases or stabilizes.

Ayala's Integrated Micro Electronics, which was down by over 8%, has temporarily closed its factories in China due to the outbreak.

SM Malls president Steven Tan said in an ANC interview that their malls in China are like "ghost towns."

Fast-food giant Jollibee has temporarily closed 14 of its Yonghe King stores in the Chinese province of Hubei. Wuhan City, the epicenter of the outbreak, is in Hubei.

There were 184 decliners and 27 advancers on Wednesday, while 30 remained unchanged.

Foreign buying stood at P4.47 billion, while foreign selling was at P7.56 billion. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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